Thursday, March 9 (Day nine): Cienfuegos:

Cienfuegos with a current population of 150,000 is a beautiful seaside community.  I thought this was the most beautiful Cuban city we visited.  The area was settled by the French formerly living in what is now Louisiana.  It could therefore be said that Cienfuegos was settled by Americans.  Homes of the wealthy were converted to hotels after the revolution.  The architecture of the city reflects its French heritage.  We visited a hotel originally built in 1957 by the Las Vegas mob and a beautiful home owned by the wealthiest family in Cienfuegos before the revolution.

Our next stop was the first of two cultural exchanges.  It involved local dancers performing.  The most interesting part of the visit was the ability to tour a local person’s home.  This was no doubt a wealthy person’s home as they had nice furnishings, including electronics, albeit ancient by today’s standards and a proper kitchen, however we noticed a large metal drum filled with water on the back patio, the kitchen sink had a faucet so not sure if the water filled drum was just extra or running water isn’t always reliable.  Our final stop was a second cultural exchange, which was at an art school.  The school supports local artists who work in various mediums and even includes a kids’ program.  The school also has a special program for kids with Down’s Syndrome.

Bill, MaryKay, Jared and Matt at Wealthiest Person Mansion now hotel close up

Bill, MaryKay, Jared and Matt at Cienfuegos Wealthiest Person’s Home

Cienfuegos Phone Booths In Use

Cienfuegos Phone Booths in use

Cienfuegos Grocery Store with people at counter

Cienfuegos Grocery Store 

Cienfuegos Wealthy Person's Entertaining Room

Cienfuegos Modern Day Wealthy Person’s living room

Cienfuegos Wealthy Person's Kitchen

Cienfuegos Modern Day Wealthy Person’s Kitchen

Cienfuegos Wealthy Person's Back Patio and Water Storage

Cienfuegos Modern Day Wealthy Person’s Back Patio with Water Storage

Sailboats in Cienfuegos Harbor 1

Sailboats in the Cienfuegos Harbor

Cienfuegos Pier

Cienfuegos Pier

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